Aristotle advising a king on law, in Pseudo-Aristotle's 'About the Secrets of Secrets'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Believed in the middle ages to be Aristotle's letter to Alexander the Great, 'About the Secrets of Secrets' concerns government and is a Latin translation of an Arabic work. A London scribe and King's Clerk, Walter of Milemete, and a team of artists probably made this richly decorated copy in 1326-1327. Milemete intended it to accompany his own treatise on royal virtues for presentation to Edward III. The 'Secrets' was owned by the Earls of Leicester, at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
The 'Secrets' covers every angle of kingship. 'Aristotle' advises in this section on the study of law. The picture shows Aristotle prompting the king as he sits enthroned and confident before a group of lawyers with their open texts. The images in the book reflect the concerns of kings and courtiers, although in a simplifying mirror.